Policy Ideas – Preventing Chronic Disease

Shiftwork and Cancer

The March issue of Ontario Cancer Facts from Cancer Care Ontario addresses the link between shiftwork and cancer.  The article starts by saying that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified night- time shift work as ’probably carcinogenic to humans’.  Those sectors with the most shift work employees were manufacturing,  retail, health care and accommodation and food services.  To [...]

Make it Mandatory to Report Chemical Spills and Leaks

When harmful or infectious chemicals and substances are released into the work environment, it is crucial to document the spill and respond quickly.  Proper reporting of spills and leaks will ensure a fast, appropriate response to the incident and better measures to prevent spills in the first place. Source: Brant County Health Unit

TB Tests for New Employees

Require that all new hires are tested for tuberculosis prior to beginning work.  Special attention should be paid to newly immigrated employees that arrive in Canada from countries that are at high-risk for TB exposure. Source:  Brant County Health Unit

Implement and Enforce Smoke-Free Workplace Policies

Create or revise comprehensive workplace smoke-free policies that go beyond the Smoke-Free Ontario Act which prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces and work vehicles. For example, create polices in which smoking is not permitted within a nine metre radius surrounding any entrance, exit or air intake OR even better implement a 100% smoke-free property policy. Remember, [...]

Flexible Scheduling that Encourages Exercise

Develop flexible scheduling policies that allow employees to dedicate a few moments throughout the day to physical activity.  The adjusted work day and flex-time policies allow employees to work the standard number of hours on a daily basis, with flexible start and finish times within limits established by management.  More flexibility means that employees have [...]

Healthy Food Policy

Develop a healthy eating policy for your workplace that identifies healthy foods to include in the cafeteria, in vending machines, and for catered meetings and events. Start with a policy to increase fruit and vegetable options at workplace sponsored events (e.g. meetings, catered lunches). For example, 100% fruit juice could be included as an option [...]

Place Limits on Workplace Junk Food

Does your workplace have an abundance of tempting, unhealthy snacks?  Develop guidelines or policies that require that healthy food choices are served at all meetings and workshops. Some examples of healthy snacks and beverages include water, milk, 100% fruit juice, fruit and vegetable  trays, low-fat dip, yogurt, nuts, whole-grain crackers, lower-fat muffins, and whole grain [...]

Create and Implement a Dangerous/Infectious Materials Policy

Such a policy should clearly explain what managers and staff should do if they identify or come in contact with bodily fluids, spoiled foods, or other infectious materials in the workplace.  The policy should emphasize strategies that employees can use to prevent infection and reduce the incidence of infectious materials. Source: Brant County Health Unit